Ka Wā Ma Mua: a Timeline of Hawaiian History

#112 in the Moʻolelo series, Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa points out that in Hawaiian, the phrase ka wā ma mua indicated the past, as if the past is before us (in front of us) whereas the future is ka wā ma hope, the time that lies behind. I thought it could be helpful to make a basic timeline of the dates of events in Hawaiian history. I used to have one on the wall of my classroom, but I took it down after noticing that students were strangely only invested in it during tests! So here it is, recreated for you – thereʻs no quiz afterward, especially because I will invariably miss events – let me know if I miss really major ones (I have the feeling I will, and will be adding to this for some time):

300 – 900 (AD or CE) – Polynesians arrive in Hawaiʻi – early settlement sites: Waimānalo Oʻahu, Haleleʻa Kauaʻi, Halawa Molokaʻi

900-1100 – Paʻao helps create “Classical” Hawaiian society

1100 – Beginning of large population increase, warfare

1350 – Maiʻlikūkahi refines ahpuaʻa on Oaʻhu

1400-1600 Piʻilani unifies four islands (Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe) – Nāhonoapiʻilani

1600-1700 – ʻUmi-a-Liloa

1700 – Date given for completion of Kumulipo creation chant (last name added in genealogy – Lonoikamakahiki)

1758 – Kamehameha is born

1778 – Cook Arrives

1779 – Cook returns and is killed at Kealakekua, Kona

1782 – Kalaniopuʻu dies, initiating battle for Hawaiʻi Island

1791 – Kamehameha defeats Keouakūahuula, unifying Hawaiʻi Island

1795, May – Battle of Nuʻuanu

1804 – Maʻi okuʻu epidemic, Keʻeaumoku dies

1810 – Kaumualiʻi cedes Kauaʻi to Kamehameha – official start of Hawaiian Kingdom

1819, May 8 – Kamehameha dies, Liholiho named Kamehameha II

1819, December – Abolition of ʻAikapu, Battle of Kuamoʻo

1820, April – Missionaries arrive

1823 – Liholiho, Kamehameha II travels to London England

1824 – Liholiho dies

1825 – Kauikeaouli named Kamehameha III

1826 – Boki sails to New Hebrides (Vanuatu) in search of sandalwood (end of sandalwood era)

1830 – Whaling era begins

1831 – Lahainaluna founded

1835 – First sugar plantation founded in Kōloa, Kauaʻi

1839 – LaPlace arrives from France demanding equal treatment of Catholics

1839 – Declaration of Rights establishes rights for people, limits power of King and chiefs and Hawaiʻi as a Christian nation

1840 – Kumu Kanawai, First Constitution (Constitution of 1840), Declaration of Rights becomes “preamble”

1841 – Laws of Hawaiʻi published

1841 – Punahou (Oʻahu College) founded by Daniel Dole

1843, February – Paulet Affair

1843, July 31 – Sovereignty restored by Admiral Thomas (Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea)

1843, November 28 – Recognition of Hawaiʻi’s sovereignty by Britain and France (Lā Kūʻokoʻa)

1845 – Land Commission created

1846 – St. Louis School founded

1848 – Māhele begun

1850 – Land Law of 1850 allows foreigners to buy land

1850 – Kuleana Act allows makaʻāinana to claim land

1850 – First Chinese immigration, Masters and Servants Act regulates work and immigration contracts

1852 – Constitution of 1852

1854 – Kamehameha III dies, aged 41, Alexander Liholiho named Kamehameha IV

1855 – Land Commission completes Māhele and Kuleana divisions

1862 – Kamehameha IV dies, succeeded by Lot Kapuāiwa (Kamehameha V)

1862 – ʻIolani School founded

1864 – Kamehameha V promulgates Constitution of 1864

1867 – St. Andrew’s Priory founded by Queen Emma

1869 – First Japanese immigration

1872 – Kamehameha V dies, election of Lunalilo

1874 – Lunalilo dies, election of Kalākaua

1881 – Kalākaua World Tour

1882 – ʻIolani Palace completed

1884 – Bernice Pauahi Bishop dies

1885 – Queen Emma dies

1887 – Bayonet Constitution

1887 – Kamehameha School for Boys opens

1891 – Kalākaua dies, Liliʻuokalani named Queen (monarch)

1891 – Kamehameha School for Girls opens

1893, January 16 – US Marines land at Honolulu

1893, January 17 – Liliʻuokalani cedes executive authority under protest

1894, July 4 – Republic of Hawaiʻi created

1895 – Kaua Kuloko – Wilcox rebellion

1895 – Liliʻuokalani arrested, put on trial and imprisoned

1896 – McKinley elected, Liliʻuokalani travels to D.C. to oppose annexation

1897 – Pres. McKinley introduces Treaty of Annexation

1897-1898 – Kūʻē petitions against annexation, Treaty fails

1898, August 13 – “Annexation” by Joint Resolution

1899 – Princess Kaʻiulani, heir to the throne, dies

1900 – Organic Act creates Territorial government, Wilcox elected to Congress

1902 – Kūhiō (a Republican) defeats Wilcox

1907 – College of Hawaiʻi founded (later called University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa)

1917 – Ua hala o Queen Liliʻuokalani

1920 – 1930 – Tourism industry begins

1921 – Hawaiian Homes Commission Act

1922 – Prince Kūhiō, an heir to the throne, dies

1941, December 7 – Japanese planes attack Pearl Harbor, Martial law begins

1944 – Martial law ends

1950 – Constitutional Convention for the Territory of Hawaiʻi

1954 – Democratic Revolution, Democrats win majority of Territorial legislature

1959, August – Statehood Act passes

1960 – 1970 – Development boom

1964 – Merrie Monarch hula festival begins

1970 – Kalama Valley struggle, ALOHA Association lobbies Congress for reparations

1974 – George Ariyoshi elected governor

1976 – Activists protest the bombing of Kahoʻolawe

1976 – Hokuleʻa sails to Tahiti

1978 – Hawaiʻi Constitutional Convention, Hawaiian made an official language of the State

1980 – Office of Hawaiian Affairs created

1986 – John Waiheʻe, first Hawaiian governor elected

1987 – Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi creates constitution

1993, January 17 – 100th anniversary of overthrow – 20,000-30,000 march on ʻIolani Palace

Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi, January 17, 1993

1993, November – Apology Resolution (Public Law 103-150) apologizes to Native Hawaiians for overthrow and subsequent dispossession

1994 – Benjamin Cayetano elected governor

1995 – PASH decision affirms native gathering and access rights

1996 – Hawaiians vote for Hawaiian Constitutional convention (Hā Hawaiʻi)

1998 – 100th anniversary of annexation, Kūʻē petitions discovered

1999 – Akaka bill introduced to Congress

2000 – Rice v. Cayetano rules that non-Hawaiians can vote for OHA

2002 – Linda Lingle elected governor

2005 – First of many marches in defense of Hawaiian entitlements, Doe v. Kamehameha challenges Hawaiian preference admission policy

2010 – Neil Abercrombie elected governor

2012 – Akaka Bill withdrawn, Daniel Inouye dies

2014 – David Ige elected governor

2014 – Dept. of Interior hearings for “rule change” allowing establishment of Native Hawaiian Governing Entity

2016 – Kanaʻiolowalu and Naʻi Aupuni create Hawaiian constitution – election enjoined by US Supreme Court

2019 – Mauna Kea movement establishes Puʻuhuluhulu

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